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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Road Taken

Like Ricky Carandang, hectic days and busy schedules should not prevent a blogger from posting even if the days are long, the future unclear, and the road to truth and justice seemed to have taken an awful bend. And no, my dsl is working perfectly ever since Manolo wrote about his DSL angst in the Inquirer.

In his latest posting, Ricky was quite pointed in his question to the Black and White Movement. By going to bed with the left, is B&W set up for another betrayal?

In my personal opinion, I think the long and short answer to that question is No.

First of all, the statement of solidarity should be taken at face value and nothing more. The consolidation of anti-GMA forces calls for the resignation or removal of Mrs. Arroyo. That is the single aim and purpose of that statement.

It does not ipso facto mean that the middle forces agree to the philosophy and methodology of those whose political views are different or radically opposed to them.

Second, the statement of solidarity is a statement of values, not of policy, which I think no one can disagree with, not even those who straddle in the twin extremes of the political spectrum. Simply put, it is a motherhood statement but only this time, expressed by an aggrupation of people with different modes of belief and thought.

Third, I think the convenors of the Black and White are not as naïve as how Ricky puts it. After all, while it is entirely possible that the movement would prefer a political personality that is more attuned to their political philosophy, ultimately what the movement is fighting for are political, electoral and social reforms which they have previously laid out and which make for a more permanent foothold in the political scheme of things.

In that sense, it is not altogether remote or difficult for the Left to listen to the core values of the Black and White Movement . Moreover, and realistically however, it is quite remote to subscribe to the possibility that the Sison left or the Erap forces will be in a position to take power even if there be a consolidation of all anti-GMA forces. This conclusion is drawn from the experience and the aversion of the middle class and the Filipinos, as a whole, to totalitarian beliefs, whether coming from the right or the left.

And lastly, if I am not mistaken, the solidarity of the anti-GMA forces is not new. It has been a road previously taken although not as prominent as it was highlighted in the Inquirer. The Bukluran sa Katotohanan and the People’s Congress come to mind. In them, I recall Black and White concurring in the values espoused by the organizers.

If the anti-GMA forces have decided to come together for now, it is the reality that the road to truth and justice is long with many a winding turn and as Robert Frost puts it, miles to go before we sleep.


Anonymous Arbet said...

I wanted to point out to Mr. Carandang that the middle class had shared the same bed with the left in 2001; he might have forgotten that.

Imagine: if because of mistrust, the Allied Powers had decided to exclude Soviet Russia. How would have World War II turned out?

And, ultimately, Mr. Carandang (with all due respect; I watch Dateline Philippines when I have the time) and those who asks the same questions had fallen to the trap that GMA and her cohorts had sprung: who would replace GMA? There's no one else, the GMA camp will say - can you trust the Left? Can you trust the opposition? Can you trust your spouse? (That last question is for comic relief.)

In 2001, despite the mistrust for GMA, the middle class had installed her to the seat of power. Apparently, they don't like to commit the same mistake. Which is still a mistake - for allowing injustice to last until 2010 is a grave mistake. For one, the middle class had retreated to the comforts of their lives after January 2001, shirking their civic responsibilities, which was a fatal mistake. For this mistake allowed GMA to commit acts that destroyed the institutions of this country; COMELEC is just a sad example. Second, she made sure that her ouster would be unpalatable to the middle class (who would not want to stray from Constitutional processes, knowing deep in their hearts that EDSA 2 was a mistake) by choosing a running mate that the middle class would rather not trust. Third, by appointing questionable personalities to different positions, GMA's focus was very visible but the middle class had done nothing. Lastly, by employing tactics that made the people confused, using evasion, straightforward arm-twisting, and the sickening redefinition of "rule of law", GMA and her cohorts had forever destroyed what remaining trust the people had on the government.

I guess the reason we are in a muck now is that the poor - the real but unacknowledged majority in this country - was tired of the self-righteousness of the middle class. I suggest that B&W and all of those who wanted change to reach out to them. Why? The cycle of mistrust must end. For one thing, that's GMA's no. one card right now. Second, it has been our own undoing. You cannot get unity if there is a mutual feeling of mistrust.

To close: admit mistakes, and rectify mistakes. If there is no justice, there will be no peace. All else are just rants.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous cvj said...

It's true when you say that there is an:

"...aversion of the middle class and the Filipinos, as a whole, to totalitarian beliefs, whether coming from the right or the left..."

Sadly, many in the middle class do not seem averse to such beliefs coming from the middle.

2:03 AM  
Blogger acidboy said...

arbet's argument espouses what i've been trying hard to put in words and yet cannot, until now!

yes, look at the allied powers in the 2nd world war! if russia wasn't part of the allied powers, i'm pretty sure our history would be different.

but then again, look at what happened after the war! an emboldened soviet republic who had the balls to do what the nazis did, and worse. at least teh allies had a headcount on those massacred in germany and poland- we still don't have any idea how many millions did stalin kill.

sure, the shaky allied forces were able to stop a madman... but in exchange for ending a 5-year war, we got a screwed-up world ruled by former victors now in opposing camps still trying to outdo each other, and in the process get people killed or leave impoverished.

mind you, you can trace all the political problems, even now with the islamic militant movements to world war II. what i'm really trying to say is this: okay united they stood then. and look what happened when they got the job done!

1:24 PM  
Anonymous cvj said...

It's not fair to equate the democratic left with Stalin's USSR. In a future government, the left may end up with more real power, but that's fine since they deserve it anyway. If we just listen carefully and validate against what is happening in the real world, we will find that they have been right about a lot of things. In the areas where we believe they are wrong, we can still go toe to toe with them as long as we have clear and valid ideas of our own. Frankly, I can't believe this bogey about the left is still alive more than a decade after the Berlin Wall fell down. The rest of the world has moved on.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

The biggest problem with "the Left" is no one will actually admit they belong to it, except in vague generalities or as an anonymous part of some mass organization. Also there appear to be many sects, cults and factions to the left.

It is that ambiguity of identity that I think is most dangerous for any identifiable set of well meaning people who decide to become identified or allied to "the left".

It's like having anonymous sex. You don't really KNOW who you are in bed with till you get the clap, and then you don't even know who gave it to you.

It's really quite useless talking about the Left until you can get a real live leftist to come and talk to you, about "the Left" and either defend or disavow the criticisms.

The danger in being allied with the Left is that they are experts at using allies in ways one would never suspect possible.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous cvj said...

I wouldn't ascribe any mystical ability to the members of the Democratic Left beyond that of any other politician or political group. It's not like they could single-handedly conspire with the Comelec to rig elections, get their allies in Congress to postpone elections, or unilaterally change the system of government to one which serves their own selfish ends. That would be the specialty of some other group who label themselves the 'Center'. As for our ideological leanings, we all have our preferences, and through open discussions and actions, these are revealed whether one admits it or not.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pity that there isn't much demand for lawyers abroad. Perhaps the other countries know better. Now, we're losing our nurses, doctors and teachers and getting stuck with all the smart-ass, good-for-nothing lawyers. That's why this country is in such a mess and nothing seems to get moving.

Anyway, be careful whom you bed with. The middle class bedded with the Sandinistas in 1979 and what did it get them? A more ruthless, corrupt, totalitarian, Marxist regime headed by the Ortega brothers. Alliances with the Left will never work. In the end, you get rid of one problem and get stuck in a worse one. Cory Aquino's Pinkos made sure her administration didn't get anything done, either. The only thing they have to show for is a sham Land Reform program, which caused more problems than it solved. That's why we're still stuck in the rut, 20 years after Marcos. What a shame!

As for the Allies in WWII, getting in bed with Stalin only allowed the Communists to prolong their stay in power in the U.S.S.R. It took the Cold War, and trillions of dollars spent in the arms race, to finally bring down the Communists. In the meantime, the threat of nuclear proliferation remains, should some of the U.S.S.R.'s nuclear stockpile fall into the wrong hands. Just because the Allies were naive and stupid enough to go to bed with the Russians in WWII doesn't mean we have to do the same thing.

6:56 AM  

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